In the automobile and manufacturing industries in the United Kingdom, there are few positions as important as that of the continuous improvement engineer. Engineering graduates and experienced professionals alike understand that continuous improvement refers to the consistent reassessment of production processes in order to find areas of inefficiency or weakness. Continuous improvement engineers in the UK work in industrial environments to remedy problems on the assembly line, the warehouse, or the showroom floor. The necessity for a flawless system of production and distribution means that continuous improvement engineers are in high demand. While there are plenty of positions available for continuous improvement professionals, it can be tough to find the right jobs. Engineers interested in continuous development in the automotive or manufacturing environment need to find the best jobs to meet their professional goals.
The first step in finding these engineering positions is to determine which industry is desirable. While this seems like a basic idea, many graduates and young professionals apply indiscriminately to engineering positions despite the industry. In the automotive industry, an engineer cannot provide continuous improvement on a daily basis without having an interest in the company they work for. After establishing the industry desired by the graduate, the next step is research the various points of entry within a company.
Younger professionals, for example, may want to consult with an automotive company's website to determine if there are opening for engineering trainees. Trainee programs, apprenticeships, and project positions can create a good foothold in the profession for a young worker. More experienced professionals need to consider utilising a recruiting firm in order to maximise the past experiences they have had in continuous improvement. Once the industry and point of entry are determined, a continuous improvement engineer can focus on landing the perfect position.
Automotive companies and other manufacturers will often bring in engineers for multiple interviews. These interviews are meant to create a familiarity with the candidate while seeing how they cope with different work environments. Continuous improvement engineers need to prepare themselves mentally for the process of interviewing for their dream position.
This preparation should include a review of the skills learned in past jobs, which need to be sold as applicable to the job in question. As well, one of the most common questions asked of engineers is to describe their strengths and weaknesses. The ability to honestly assess one's talents and shortcomings is parallel to the ability to determine the weaknesses and strengths of production facilities.
Richard Taylor Edwards is the Managing Director of Talisman Executive, a specialist recruitment agency for construction careers and construction jobs in the UK and Europe.